Monday, December 22, 2008

Dreamy Desert Life

It's evening here at the Old Mermaid Sanctuary. Mario is making us vegetables which we will combine with Amy's frozen dinners which we will microwave. I'll take some Vitamin B to make up for the Vitamin B the microwave kills. We don't have a microwave at home, so we only use one when we're on the road, usually to heat water or to cook the occasional frozen dinner.

More than you wanted to know about that, eh? Read on. It only gets better. Or worse, depending upon who you are.

We've been here a week now. It usually takes me about a week to acclimate. Before that time, I'll usually have a backache, a rash, depression, cravings for sweets. And I dream. I have had more dreams here in a week than I've probably had in a year, and remember, I can sometimes remember half a dozen dreams a night. (I'm now going to tell you some of the dreams, in shorthand, more for myself than for you, so if you get bored by dreams, skip on down to when I start taking about something else. Although I will tell you there is nakedness, drugs, and food.)

I asked my psyche and the Universe for big dreams, to help me decide what to do while I was here. In one dream, Mario and I travelled to some exotic place to see some wonderful thing but something happened and we ended up on this kind of hospital. I thought, man, I don't want to be in this place with sick people, just stuck here. And then the hospital began to move. It was a train. I thought, wow, it's all about perspective.

I dreamed I was teaching. I had dream after dream about doing workshops and teaching. I woke up and wondered if I should do that while I was here instead of writing.

I dreamed one of my health care providers was dying, something with her immune system, and she came to tell me about it with Regis Philbin. I thought maybe if I put my hands on her I could help her, but I was afraid I would get the illness, too.

After my uncle died, I dreamed I saw dead people. One of them was my friend Sheila who died a month before Linda. Someone else, too, but I can't remember who. I was so happy to see her. I thought she was alive, but she said, no, still dead. And something about running around naked with or without these dead people I could see.

One day I got a book from the library on plants and shamanism. I opened it at random and read something about having to abstain from sex and eat a particular diet in order to be able to talk to the plants. In my never-jump-to-a-snap-conclusion way of being in the world, I said to Mario, "What horseshit. I don't need to stop having sex or eat a certain way for the plants to talk to me. If the plants want to talk to me, they will." So that night I dreamed of ayahuasca, which is a combination of a couple plants prepared in such a way that they create a sacred (and psychedelic) potion that shamans and others use for healing and revelation. Mario and I went down this long stairway and at the bottom was this huge bin of bright green goop which in the dream I knew was ayahuasca. (Even though in real life the drink is brownish.) People were standing and lying in the ayahuasca. I said, "No way. I'm not doing that." I am not the type of person who should do drugs." I figured the shaman was a fake. He said I didn't have to ingest it; I just needed to immerse part of my body into it. I didn't want to do that, but I did, and Mario disappeared.

In another dream, a Native American man was telling me about the plight of cayenne workers in another country. Days later I dreamed of cayenne again. This time I was melting a dark chocolate bar, putting chopped nuts in it, and adding a bit of cayenne to it. I kept making this again and again in my dream.

I suppose the plants were speaking to be after all, without me giving up sex or food.

I had many more dreams, but that's enough.

Mario and I have been walking in the desert every day. We don't walk in the wash much because of the filthy "no trespassing" sign. Instead we go to the monument a mile or so away and walk amongst the saguaros and prickly pears and other desert flora. Today my father and my sister came out and we walked together. We saw a jack rabbit. Only the second one I've ever seen. They look mythological. Exaggerated. Lovely. Slender. With the longest loveliest biggest ears I've ever seen. Before my dad came, I asked all the wild things to come to the sanctuary, so my father could see them and know that he still has connections in this world. We saw the jack rabbit, and storm clouds moved overhead.

On Solstice, Mario and I walked in the park. And I began a new novel. I won't say anything about it yet. I've been able to start novels lately, but I haven't been able to finish them. So we'll see what happens.

I had more to say but it's late at night and I am tired. I almost always get depressed when I come here, and it happened again. But I knew it would pass and it did, as soon as I began writing. When I write, it is one of the few times in my life when I feel a part of life, when I am not lonely. It's such a strange thing. Now I shall go to sleep and see what wonders await me.

May You Dream in Beauty!

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